English: Portrait of Rebecca Greenleaf Webster, wife of lexicographer Noah Webster, by the American artist Jared Bradley Flagg, oil on canvas. 84.7 cm. x 72.7 cm. Image courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Titus 2:3 “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;”
My last entry focused on what it means to be Godly with behaviour that becomes holiness. Today’s topic is false accusers. The Greek word for false accuser is diabolos (dee-ab’-ol-os). It means devil or slanderer. Nowadays we call them gossipers. I think we can all agree that gossiping is not Godly behaviour; it is quite the opposite and very harmful.
Gossipers are known for starting or spreading malicious rumors, and/or divulging personal information that someone has trusted them with. Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary defines a gossiper as: “One who runs from house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler.”
Are they always women? No, men have been known to do it too, but I would say that women are the weaker vessels in this area. Are they always older women? No, but older women are to set an example for the younger, inexperienced women. Have I ever gossiped about someone? Yes, I shamefully admit that I have. One thing though – the Holy Spirit has convicted me very quickly, helping me to make things right when I have joined in on gossiping. I was also taught, growing up, not to say anything behind a person’s back that I would not be willing to say to that person’s face.
Have I been hurt by others’ gossip? Most definitely, and God lays it on my heart to remember those times when I feel tempted to prattle on about someone else. I pray daily (and sometimes constantly) that God will guide and control my tongue along with my thoughts and actions. Left to my own devices, I cannot overcome any temptation.
I have seen precious souls leave God’s house because of one person’s thoughtless scuttlebutt. Some have found a new church home, but some were so devastated by such hurtful actions that they left the church never to return. Also, sadly, lifelong friendships have ended because of an uncontrolled tongue.
Our speech comes from one of two sources – Satan or God:
Words that are motivated by Satan are full of bitter jealousy, selfish ambition, earthly concerns and desires, nonspiritual thoughts and ideas, disorder, and evil.
Words that are motivated by God are full of purity, peace, consideration for others, submission, mercy, sincerity, impartiality, and goodness.
If we are sincerely seeking to know God more each day, we are in His word, listening to His direction in our prayer time, busy about God’s work, and caring for our families. That leaves no time to focus on what may or may not be happening in other peoples’ private lives. The old saying, “idle minds are the devil’s workshop,” is appropriate here.
Luke 6:45 “A good man (or woman) out of the good treasure of his (or her) heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man (or woman) out of the evil treasure of his (or her) heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his (or her) mouth speaketh.” Additions in ( ) are mine.
- Profile of a godly person (Titus 2) (erikbrewer.wordpress.com)
- Just Walk Away (christiannick.wordpress.com)